Male Birth Control Pills

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Birth control pills for guys could be reality soon

Two kinds of oral contraceptives and a sperm blocker are being developed

With condoms and vasectomies, men take responsibility for a third of contraception in the United States. But health officials would like to see that figure grow.

"Just imagine if they had another non-permanent option," said Elaine Lissner, director of the nonprofit Male Contraception Information Project.

Several promising possibilities — from a male pill to putting a cork in it — are on the horizon, based on presentations today at the second "Future of Male Contraception" conference, held in Seattle and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization and others.

They include:

"You'll never have all men interested" in new contraceptive methods, Lissner said. "But attitudes have really changed — studies consistently show a majority of men would consider it."

A new survey by the International Male Contraception Coalition found 61 percent of men would pick a nonhormonal drug over other contraceptive choices.

"Some men are quite desperate for better control over their fertility," said Kirsten Thompson, director of the International Male Contraception Coalition. "They're looking for something they can really count on."

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